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We are excited about arthropod saliva!!!

Our main research is focused on the role of mosquito salivary proteins in the transmission of pathogens like Plasmodium, Zika virus and Dengue virus. We study the immune response of human cells (macrophages, mast cells and endothelial cells) against salivary proteins and how they shape clinical presentation of these diseases.

We also  study the antibody response (IgG, IgM and IgE) against arthropod saliva. In our most recent research, we have identified important salivary proteins from mosquitoes, ticks and triatomine bugs that can be used as markers for human-vector contact important to measure risk of disease.

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Another important area of research in our lab is the study of the effect of human immune factors (complement proteins and antibodies) on the immune responses against pathogens in mosquito midgut. Our preliminary data suggest that the human complement proteins C5a and C3a induce important changes in gene expression of immune related genes in mosquitoes infected with Zika and Dengue viruses.


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  1. Londoño B, Carmona J, Blair S. 2002. [Comparison between OptiMAL and the thick smear tests for malaria diagnosis in an endemic area during a non-epidemic period]. Biomedica. 22(4):466-75. PubMed PMID: 12596444.

  2. Londoño B, Arango E, Zapata C, Herrera S, Saez J, Blair S, Carmona-Fonseca J. Effect of Solanum nudum Dunal (Solanaceae) steroids on hepatic trophozoites of Plasmodium vivax. 2006. Phytother Res. 20(4):267-73. PubMed PMID: 16557608.

  3. Arango E, , Segura C, Solarte Y, Herrera S, Saez J, Carmona-Fonseca J, Blair S. Prevention of sporogony of Plasmodium vivax in Anopheles albimanus by steroids of Solanum nudum Dunal (Solanaceae). 2006. Phytother Res. 20(6):444-7. PubMed PMID: 16619357.

  4. Eisele TP, Keating J, Bennett A, , Johnson D, Lafontant C, Krogstad DJ. Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum infection in rainy season, Artibonite Valley, Haiti, 2006. 2007. Emerg Infect Dis. 2007. 13(10):1494-6. PubMed PMID: 18257993.

  5. Londono B, Eisele TP, Keating J, Bennett A, Chattopadhyay C, Heyliger G, Mack B, Rawson I, Vely JF, Désinor O, Krogstad DJ. Chloroquine-resistant haplotype Plasmodium falciparum parasites, Haiti. 2009. Emerg Infect Dis. 15(5):735-40. PubMed PMID: 19402959

  6. Londono-Renteria B, Eisele TP, Keating J, James MA, Wesson DM. Antibody response against Anopheles albimanus (Diptera: Culicidae) salivary protein as a measure of mosquito bite exposure in Haiti. 2010. J Med Entomol. 47(6):1156-63. PubMed PMID: 21175067.

  7. Londono-Renteria B, Eisele TP, Keating J, Bennett A, Krogstad DJ. Genetic diversity in the merozoite surface protein 1 and 2 genes of Plasmodium falciparum from the Artibonite Valley of Haiti. 2012. Acta Trop. 121(1):6-12. PubMed PMID: 21982798.

  8. Londono-Renteria B, Cardenas JC, Cardenas LD, Christofferson RC, Chisenhall DM, Wesson DM, McCracken MK, Carvajal D, Mores CN. Use of anti-Aedes aegypti salivary extract antibody concentration to correlate risk of vector exposure and dengue transmission risk in Colombia. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 2;8(12):e81211. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081211. PMID: 24312537; PMCID: PMC3846924.

  9. Chisenhall DM, , Christofferson RC, McCracken MK, Mores CN. Effect of dengue-2 virus infection on protein expression in the salivary glands of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. 2014. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 90(3):431-7. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.13-0412. PMID: 24445208; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3945687.

  10. Chisenhall DM, Christofferson RC, McCracken MK, Johnson AM, , Mores CN. Infection with dengue-2 virus alters proteins in naturally expectorated saliva of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. 2014. Parasit Vectors. 30;7:252. PubMed PMID: 24886023; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4057903.

  11. Moudy RM, Michaels S, Jameson SB, , Lopez V, Caillouet KA, Hallmark CJ, Davis JK, Foppa IM, Dorn PL, Wesson DM. Factors associated with peridomestic Triatoma sanguisuga (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) presence in southeastern Louisiana. J Med Entomol. 2014 Sep;51(5):1043-50. doi: 10.1603/me13234. PMID: 25276935.

  12. Londono-Renteria B, Drame PM, Weitzel T, Rosas R, Gripping C, Cardenas JC, Alvares M, Wesson DM, Poinsignon A, Remoue F, Colpitts TM. An. gambiae gSG6-P1 evaluation as a proxy for human-vector contact in the Americas: a pilot study. 2015. Parasit Vectors. 8:533. PubMed PMID: 26464073; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4605097.

  13. Londono-Renteria B, Cardenas JC, Giovanni JE, Cardenas L, Villamizar P, Rolon, Chisenhall DM, Christofferson RC, Carvajal DJ, Perez OG, Wesson DM, Mores CN. Aedes aegypti anti-salivary gland antibody concentration and dengue virus exposure history in healthy individuals living in an endemic area in Colombia.Biomedica. 2015 Oct-Dec;35(4):572-81. doi: 10.7705/biomedica.v35i4.2530. PMID:26844447.

  14. Londono-Renteria B, Patel JC, Vaughn M, Funkhauser S, Ponnusamy L, Grippin C,  Jameson SB, Apperson C, Mores CN, Wesson DM, Colpitts TM, Meshnick SR. Long-Lasting Permethrin-Impregnated Clothing Protects Against Mosquito Bites in Outdoor Workers. 2015. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 93(4):869-74. PubMed PMID: 26195460; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4596613.

  15. Londono-Renteria B, Troupin A, Conway MJ, Vesely D, Ledizet M, Roundy CM, Cloherty E, Jameson S, Vanlandingham D, Higgs S, Fikrig E, Colpitts TM. Dengue Virus Infection of Aedes aegypti Requires a Putative Cysteine Rich Venom Protein. 2015. PLoS Pathog. 11(10). PMID: 26491875.

  16. Londono-Renteria B, Cardenas JC, Troupin A, Colpitts TM. Natural Mosquito-Pathogen Hybrid IgG4 Antibodies in Vector-Borne Diseases: A Hypothesis. 2016 Sep 29;7:380. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2016.00380. PMID: 27746778.

  17. Londono-Renteria B, Grippin C, Cardenas JC, Troupin A, Colpitts TM. Human C5a Protein Participates in the Mosquito Immune Response Against Dengue Virus. J Med Entomol. 2016 May;53(3):505-512. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjw003. Epub 2016 Feb 3. PMID: 26843451.

  18. Troupin A, Conway MJ, Cloherty E, Jameson S, Higgs S, Vanlandingham DL, Fikrig E, Colpitts TM. A novel mosquito ubiquitin targets viral envelope protein for degradation and reduces virion production during dengue virus infection. 2016. Biochim Biophys Acta. pii: S0304-4165(16)30175-1.

  19. Conway MJ, , Troupin A, Watson AM, Klimstra WB, Fikrig E, Colpitts TM. Aedes aegypti D7 Saliva Protein Inhibits Dengue Virus Infection. 2016. PLoS Negl Trop Dis.10(9):e0004941. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004941.

  20. Londono-Renteria B, Troupin A, Colpitts TM. Arbovirosis and potential transmission blocking vaccines. 2016. Parasit. Vectors. 9(1):516. PMID: 27664127.

  21. Londono-Renteria B, Marinez-Angarita JC, Troupin A, Colpitts TM. 2017. Role of Mast Cells in Dengue Virus Pathogenesis. DNA Cell Biol. May 9. doi: 10.1089/dna.2017.3765. PubMed PMID: 28486041.

  22. Hall A, Troupin A, , Colpitts TM. Garlic Organosulfur Compounds Reduce Inflammation and Oxidative Stress during Dengue Virus Infection. Viruses. 2017 Jun 23;9(7):159. doi: 10.3390/v9070159. PMID: 28644404.

  23. Londono-Renteria B, Marinez-Angarita JC, Troupin A, Colpitts TM. Role of Mast Cells in Dengue Virus Pathogenesis. DNA Cell Biol. 2017 Jun;36(6):423-427. doi: 10.1089/dna.2017.3765. Epub 2017 May 9. PMID: 28486041.

  24. Londono-Renteria B, Troupin A, Cardenas JC, Hall A, Perez OG, Cardenas L, Hartstone-Rose A, Halstead SB, Colpitts TM. A relevant in vitro human model for the study of Zika virus antibody-dependent enhancement. J Gen Virol. 2017 Jul;98(7):1702-1712. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.000833. Epub 2017 Jul 8. PMID: 28691657.

  25. Londono-Renteria B, Shakeri H, Rozo-Lopez P, Conway MJ, Duggan N, Jaberi- Douraki M, Colpitts TM. Serosurvey of Human Antibodies Recognizing Aedes aegypti D7 Salivary Proteins in Colombia. Front Public Health. 2018 May 18;6:111. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2018.00111. PMID: 29868532.

  26. Vora A, Zhou W, , Woodson M, Sherman MB, Colpitts TM, Neelakanta G, Sultana H. Arthropod EVs mediate dengue virus transmission through interaction with a tetraspanin domain containing glycoprotein Tsp29Fb. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Jul 10;115(28):E6604-E6613. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1720125115. Epub 2018 Jun 26. PMID: 29946031.

  27. Rozo-Lopez P, Drolet BS, . Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Transmission: A Comparison of Incriminated Vectors. Insects. 2018 Dec 11;9(4):190. doi: 10.3390/insects9040190. PMID: 30544935.

  28. Cardenas JC, Drame PM, Luque-Burgos KA, Berrio JD, Entrena-Mutis E, Gonzalez MU, Carvajal DJ, Gutierrez-Silva LY, Cardenas LD, Colpitts TM, Mores CN, . IgG1 and IgG4 antibodies against Aedes aegypti salivary proteins and risk for dengue infections. PLoS One. 2019 Jan 2;14(1):e0208455. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208455. PMID: 30601814.

  29. Kang S, Shin D, Mathias DK, , Noh MY, Colpitts TM, Dinglasan RR, Han YS, Hong YS. Homologs of Human Dengue-Resistance Genes, FKBP1B and ATCAY, Confer Antiviral Resistance in Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes. Insects. 2019 Feb 2;10(2):46. doi:10.3390/insects10020046. PMID: 30717390.

  30. Asad S, Feitosa-Suntheimer F, Gold A, , Colpitts TM. Quantification of Antibody-dependent Enhancement of the Zika Virus in Primary Human Cells. J Vis Exp. 2019 Jan 18;(143). doi: 10.3791/58691. PMID: 30735189.

  31. Tree MO, , Troupin A, Clark KM, Colpitts TM, Conway MJ. Dengue virus reduces expression of low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 to facilitate replication in Aedes aegypti. Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 23;9(1):6352. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-42803-9. PMID: 31015516; PMCID: PMC6478881.

  32. Maldonado-Ruiz LP, Montenegro-Cadena L, Blattner B, Menghwar S, Zurek L, . Differential Tick Salivary Protein Profiles and Human Immune Responses to Lone Star Ticks Amblyomma americanum From the Wild vs. a Laboratory Colony. Front Immunol. 2019 Aug 28;10:1996. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01996. PMID: 31555263.

  33. Londono-Renteria B, Drame PM, Montiel J, Vasquez AM, Tobon-Castano A, Taylor M, Vizcaino L, Lenhart AAE. Identification and Pilot Evaluation of Salivary Peptides from Anopheles albimanus as Biomarkers for Bite Exposure and Malaria Infection in Colombia. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jan 21;21(3):691. doi: 10.3390/ijms21030691. PMID: 31973044.

  34. Montiel J, Carbal LF, Tobon-Castano A, Vasquez GM, Fisher ML, . IgG antibody response against Anopheles salivary gland proteins in asymptomatic Plasmodium infections in Narino, Colombia. Malar J. 2020 Jan 23;19(1):42. doi: 10.1186/s12936-020-3128-9. PMID: 31973737; PMCID: PMC6979332.

  35. Araujo RV, Feitosa-Suntheimer F, Gold AS, , Colpitts TM. One-step RT-qPCR assay for ZIKV RNA detection in Aedes aegypti samples: a protocol to study infection and gene expression during ZIKV infection. Parasit. Vectors. 2020 Mar 14;13(1):128. doi: 10.1186/s13071-020-4002-x. PMID: 32171303; PMCID: PMC7071672.

  36. Rozo-Lopez P, , Drolet BS. Venereal Transmission of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus by Culicoides sonorensis Midges. Pathogens. 2020 Apr 24;9(4):316. doi: 10.3390/pathogens9040316. PMID: 32344602.

  37. Londono-Renteria B, Montiel Ramos J, Calvo E, Tobón-Castaño A, Valdivia HO, Escobedo-Vargas K, Romero L, Bosantes M, Fisher ML, Conway MJ, Vásquez GM and Lenhart AE. Antibody responses against Anopheles darlingi immunogenic peptides in Plasmodium infected humans. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. - Parasite and Host. 2020 Jul 24. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.00455.

  38. Londono-Renteria B, Montiel J, Calvo E, Tobón-Castaño A, Valdivia HO,Escobedo-Vargas K, Romero L, Bosantes M, Fisher ML, Conway MJ, Vásquez GM,Lenhart AE. Antibody Responses Against <i>Anopheles darlingi</i> Immunogenic Peptides in <i>Plasmodium</i> Infected Humans. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020 Aug 31;10:455. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.00455. PMID: 32984076; PMCID: PMC7488213.

  39. Gold AS, Feitosa-Suntheimer F, Araujo RV, Hekman RM, Asad S, Londono-Renteria B, Emili A, Colpitts TM. Dengue Virus Infection of <i>Aedes aegypti</i> Alters Extracellular Vesicle Protein Cargo to Enhance Virus Transmission. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Sep 10;21(18):E6609. doi: 10.3390/ijms21186609. PMID: 32927629.

  40. Giraldo-Calderón GI, Calle-Tobón A, Rozo-López P, Colpitts TM, Park Y, Rua-Uribe GL, Londono-Renteria B. Transcriptome of the <i>Aedes aegypti</i> Mosquito in Response to Human Complement Proteins. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Sep 9;21(18):E6584. doi: 10.3390/ijms21186584. PMID: 32916828